11.8.17

When I was a kid I wanted glasses

 

This was read as school age hypochondriac, finger on the pulse of her own anxieties or like

You just probably want attention or like

You probably just think they’re cute

 

I think I always just wanted to be pretty

There’s this scene from Princess Diaries where the main character takes off her glasses and becomes a princess

I think I wanted the glasses just so I could take them off again

 

Prove that the underneath wasn’t so bad after all

Prove that the grass was greener,

Or at least that the color of my eyes was a little more blue jay than storm

 

But my brain didn’t know how to process this

So I named the desire glasses, and never thought much about how glasses are like a disguise

And that I’ve wanted one since I was old enough to know what it was

 

And though I’d argue that a girl in a prom dress is more camouflaged than a kid on Halloween

I think that particular kind of costume never fit quite right

 

Femininity never fit me quite right

It was a skirt that I was always yanking down to hit the tips of my fingers, like the dress code required

Or a bra that didn’t round out my chest in the prescribed way

It was seven days, always seven days, of a reminder that I was not living up to my own definition

 

But yesterday, my dark roots and acne told the mirror that they thought I was growing into myself

The mirror laughed, like only that kind of glass can — in glittering, shimmering waves

 

I was not discouraged, because though we are old acquaintances we have never seen eye to eye

I have since stopped trying to internalize our relationship

It has never been about me, it’s always been about angles and lighting and the physics of perception and I have given up on math

 

I don’t want to be a Woman

I want Woman to be me

I want Woman to walk in my shoes

 

Feel the friction of the ballet flat or stiletto on the back of Her heel

Feel the dig of the brassiere and the dig of the stares

Bear the awareness that She is object or She is nothing

 

And then I want to break Her, until Her criteria crumble like the powder in a compact

Falling into my lap, only to be shaken onto the hardwood floor

I want Her to mean nothing without me

 

She will bear a unique name that sounds an awful lot like rain hitting an umbrella overhead

Suspended from impact

Although a glance at my unshaven legs may still elicit the bitter hiss of some 1950s propaganda within my own mind

 

I decided to major in gender studies instead of self-deprecation

Stop spending ice cream money on cigarettes

Think about things more controversial than mirrors

 

The girl in the Princess Diaries let femininity limpen her hair and cover her legs, take off her glasses

She gave up her own sight so that she would be easier on everyone else’s

 

This week I got my first pair of glasses

My eyes are open

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9. 06. 2017

Our conversations are morphing into side effect show and tell

We are our own classes and there seems to be no contraindication,

but fuck, I still run through the signs in my head

Still play back the days where we were unmedicated, unmitigated lovers loving every second of our interactions

 

And you are changing now

But I don’t love this less

I will assess you, taste test you, slide my hands over your body

and learn who you are today

 

Placate this pressure in my chest that boils over when I think of the frequency of your voice dropping to my feet instead on grazing my cheek

When I think of your soft, your smoothness, your rounded edges melting off to reveal the hard

When I think of your hunger getting worse, and the things you might do to satiate it

 

I have no way of knowing who you are going to be,

but I see that you care for me

I will take that solace like my last dose

What I hope for most is your happiness

 

9. 05. 2017

Your truth is scrawled across your knuckles,

like nobody knows you better

Like your mother looked at you when you were a kid and thought

“That boy’s hands are gonna get him in some trouble”

 

We were young and you wrapped around me like tree limbs

Like we were the forests to be explored

You showed me how butterfly becomes

How chrysalis entangles the undeveloped and forms the new

 

We were only children in hindsight,

if ever at all

I think of that avenue of possibility with

crimson cheeks,

9am tears

 

The years have now taken you prisoner

Long after sleepless nights and poison for breakfast

You were there when I couldn’t be alone

When I couldn’t make this couch feel like resting place

you were my resting place

 

If you were gone at least I could hope you’d ascended

But you are not someplace better

You are tucked into bed of grief,

target on back,

name on hands

 

(Pretty Boy)

6.21.2017

The taste for sweetness lost on burnt tongues

Looking for reasons to scorch fertile earth

 

Familiar shames boil to the surface, and then are reconstituted

All in the blink of an eye

Before they can be skimmed off to salvage the rest

 

Eyeing true growth has me searching for a name for what we have

(I hunger for understanding but no longer wish to be troubled by it)

6.17.2017 pt.2

I need some time alone

To think

Not apart from you, but in the absence of you

 

My periphery is more lively than my foreground, and I know I must refocus

Not for the sake of the story, but in the interest of clarity

Reignite the fire that once nearly consumed me

 

But I can’t stop thinking about you in my childhood home

6.16.2017

I feel darkness creeping into me

The lines on your face are more defined when the lights are off

And I can sense the quarter century you own on the surface of your skin

 

I am not sure how instrumental I want you to be in the functions of my life

Windows and opportunity clouded by aesthetic, struggle, and momentary satisfaction

All of which are not my own

 

When did you begin looking at me with a critical eye?

And getting this drunk

Panicking when the flask is empty — the word “need” perched on the tip of your tongue

(Like an addict)

 

I want your warmth and softness without the sharpness of your glances

Or half-promises

Or indifferent kisses

 

Can you at least pretend that I’m still magic

Please touch me

I still melt beneath your fingertips

5.30.2017

With you, my mask feels like an encumbrance

Except in moments that the bitterness in my thoughts can be tasted on my tongue

 

Blue lights flicker in one eye but not the other

Biding time in the space between content and restless

Periphery

 

Gravel fills my shoes

Reminding me that in this world, there exists stone, steady and sure, on which to plant my feet

If only I would allow my skin to touch it